Six teams battle for finals spots in UAAP football knockout matches
Santino Honasan on May 04, 2017 02:28 AM
Four men's teams and two women's teams battle for a spot in their respective tournament finales
MATCHES on THURSDAY, MAY 4 (Rizal Memorial Football Stadium)
8:00 AM - Ateneo vs. UST (Women's knockout match)
3:00 PM - Ateneo vs. UST (Men's Semifinal)
5:00 PM - UP vs. FEU (Men's Semifinal)
On Thursday afternoon, some journeys will end, while others will head straight to the finals, as six teams battle for spots in the UAAP Season 79 men's and women's football championship matches.
In the women's division, the third-seeded Ateneo Lady Eagles salvaged a rocky second round to force a playoff match with the second-seeded University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses.
At the end of eliminations, the UST ladies, led by leading scorer Charisa Lemoran, finished with 13 points on four wins, one draw, and three losses. With De La Salle University sweeping the eliminations and earning an outright finals berth, the Lady Tigresses will now fight for their chance to make the finals.
Standing in their way however will be a rejuvenated Lady Eagles, led by their own leading scorer in team captain Cam Rodriguez. After a strong start, the Lady Eagles found themselves plummeting after consecutive losses. After besting defending champions University of the Philippines in a do-or-die matchup, the Lady Eagles now find themselves living to fight at least one more day.
The women's knockout match will be at 8:00 am.
Later that afternoon, top-seeded Ateneo meets fourth-seed UST in the men's semifinal matchup.
The Blue Eagles were nothing short of dominant throughout the whole season, finishing with 35 points on 11 wins, two draws, and one loss. Led by league-leading scorer Jarvey Gayoso and a cast of talented rooks, Ateneo will look to book a second-straight finals appearance.
UST on the other hand, would love nothing more than to return to the finals for the first time since Season 74. After a slow start to Season 79, coach Marjo Allado and his boys turned things around to finish with 21 points on six wins, three draws, and five losses and secure their second straight post-season appearance.
At this point, seeding means nothing, and a win will mean a trip to the season's most important match: the finals.
Ateneo and UST lock horns at 3:00 PM.
In the second semifinal match of the afternoon, the tournament's last two champions collide, as defending champions and second-seeded University of the Philippines battles former back-to-back champions and third-seeded Far Eastern University.
All season long, the Fighting Maroons showed just why they are the league's defending champions, consistently imposing their trademark UP defense, while applying a more aggressive offense. Led by Season 78 MVP Daniel Gadia and striker King Miyagi, the Maroons put together another dominant campaign, tallying 28 points on eight wins, four draws, and two losses. UP will look to take the next step to defending their title, and that's making the finals once again.
After missing out on the post-season for the first time since Season 73 last season, the FEU Tamaraws are back in the final four. The long-time UAAP football powerhouse program, led by senior midfielder Paolo Bugas, Rico Andes, and Val Jurao, used a strong start to propel themselves back in title contention. And while they may have dipped towards the latter part of the season, the FERN-based squad still finished with 22 points on six wins, four draws, and four losses. With this being Bugas' final year, the former MVP would love nothing more than to bring his beloved alma mater back to the promised land of UAAP men's football.
UP and FEU go head to head at 5:00 PM.
Catch the men's semifinals LIVE starting at 2:45 PM on S+A channel 23, S+A HD channel 166, and livestreaming on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap